West 47th Street

Thursday, December 19, 2002 – 7:30pm
USA, 2001. Directors: Bill Lichtenstein, June Peoples

An award-winning documentary that follows the lives of four people with serious mental illness over a three year period. The film is set at Fountain House, a rehabilitation program for people with serious mental illness located in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen. “West 47th Street” offers an unprecedented window on the lives of people who are often feared and ignored, seldom understood. The filmmakers enjoyed an extraordinary degree of access to their characters’ lives, and shot more than 350 hours of tape: off and on the street, in and out of hospitals and homeless shelters, healthy . . . and psychotic. “West 47th Street” represents a return to true cinema verite, without interviews or narration. “The film borrows from documentary giants like Frederick Wiseman the ability of film to observe from a distance . . . fiction could never invent such beautiful characters.”
Colour, video, 108 mins.

The program will include:
A post-screening discussion with:
Members from the Coast Foundation Society. Since 1974 Coast has provided a wide range of community mental health services in Vancouver with innovative programs ranging from supported housing to return to work opportunities. Coast also connects over 2000 individuals with serious and persistent mental illness with services at the downtown south Mental Health Resource Centre and an active Clubhouse in the Mount Pleasant community. In 1997 Coast introduced the annual “Courage to Come Back Awards” to British Columbia. Introductions by Darrell Burnham, Executive Director, Coast Foundation Society.

Evening moderated by:
Dr. Harry Karlinsky Director of Continuing Medical Education and Professional Development, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia.

This evening is co-sponsored by the Coast Foundation Society